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Archive for the ‘Alz Assoc Aloha Chapter’ Category

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Suddenly Alzheimer’s Disease is given prominent space on television and in our news media because a famous person’s mother has Alzheimers’. There are thousands of us who have and are living this life without fame, without the finances, without the help that is given to caregivers.  We live without recognition but  live with compassion, dignity and love, caring for our loved ones. They deserve more recognition than those in the public eye. They deserve all the assistance needed in caring for someone every hour of the day. There are families who depend on Meals on Wheels, need scholarship programs to participate in adult care, have no health insurance, can’t afford professional caregivers, but their humanity of knowing what it means to care for someone with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and illness is constant behind the scenes, behind cameras.  We are insulting the caregivers who are not Dr Oz or any of the public figures. I have worked with caregivers for over 20 years since my mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and I hope we do not forget families who live outside the public eye. Why aren’t they the breaking news of the day? I sympathize with Dr. Oz’s mother but I applaud those who are the true heroes of our Alzheimer’s world.

Dr Oz, you are invited to join us at our monthly poetry writing support group for Caregivers at the Alzheimer’s Office in Sacramento.

Frances Kakugawa

Frances conducts workshops and lectures on helping caregivers give care with compassion, dignity and love. Her books on caregiving are:

Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry

I Am Somebody: Bringing Dignity and Compassion to Alzheimer’s Caregiving

Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice

Wordsworth Dances the Waltz: an illustrated book for children on memory loss

Her Dear Frances advice column for caregivers appears monthly in the Hawaii Herald

 

 

 

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Wordsworth is now in Germany with Teresa and her grandson.

Teresa was a first grader in my Jackson ,Michigan class years ago.

Some quotes from Teresa…on how Wordsworth is making a difference.

WW DAnces Teresa

I am in Germany visiting my 4.5 year old grandson Henry. We had a long car trip today, so we read Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, which I had brought along to share.

I got a little choked up reading parts of it, thinking of my own mom sitting in the nursing home room by herself most days. The story is beautifully written and illustrated.  It is the first Wordsworth book we have read.  I read it aloud in the car, so everyone heard the story, although only Henry and I saw the pictures.

Henry learned what a poet was, but I remember Wordsworth the Poet explains what a poet is much better than Me!  Henry was very curious about the children doing Karate.  He also counted 1-2-3 each time it came up in the story.  Of course, being a dancer, I counted 1-2-3 to the proper waltz beat.  I told him I would teach him how to dance the Waltz when we get back to Berlin!

While riding in the car, we then played the Wordsworth’s Rubber Band game with the clouds.  Henry has a vivid imagination!

This past week we spent a lot of time touring Bavaria and castles and going on hikes in the woods.  Henry protected us from dragons and wild animals with his wooden sword (or a stick if we left the sword in the car).  It was nice to see him so interested in everything around him, whether it be informational signs with animal footprints or tree leaves, new playground structures, patterns on the pavement stones, or learning to read a map.

Henry told me he wanted to read the other Wordsworth books too.  I have a good idea now for his Christmas gift!

4 WordsworthBooks

Your gift of writing has had an enormous impact all over the world, to all ages, and all types of people.  You are a gift to all of us, as you encourage us to look inside of ourselves and find love, grace, imagination and creativity.  Thank you.  ❤️ Teresa

I taught her well, didn’t I? This came in later from Teresa:

I told Henry that you taught me to read. And then later you taught me to be a poet too, by trying to write like Frances did in her poems. And then, even later, you taught me to understand what it’s like to be a caregiver, to grieve, to love so much your heart breaks, and to simply let life go at it’s own pace. You’ve never stopped teaching me! ❤️ Teresa


					

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So it has finally come to this: Walking into the Hilo public library, a man stopped me and asked, “Aren’t you Mrs. Wordsworth?”

Here are photos of WW doing his work at the Hilo library. He’s dancing the waltz with pre-schoolers after helping them understand about memory loss in our elders. The children enjoyed Wordsworth Dances the Waltz story.

Even a dog came for Wordsworth and he was a better listener than three adults who were hushed by me, conversing loudly as WW spoke to the children.

After Wordsworth finishes his work on the Big Island, he goes to Maui and Molokai with Patrick Toal of the Alzheimer’s Assoc.

If any school wants a visit from WW, please let me know. fhk@francesk.org.

Yes, my lecture and poetry writing workshop at the Hawaii Island ADult Care was a huge success, thanks to Patrick Toal, Marcie Saquing and Lizby Logston but the stage belong to

Wordsworth.

 

.liz and me

Lizby and me

Patrick, Marcie and…

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1 WW parade

Wave back to Wordsworth!!! He is now the mascot of the Alz Assoc , Aloha Chapter of Hawaii and is teaching children about memory loss and to live with their elders with dignity and compassion.  Wordsworth knows a lot about indignities…he was called Chucky Cheese at the parade but that was quickly corrected. Go Wordsworth the Poet!!!

 

2WW parade

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